Putin shrugs off assassination threat

Oct. 15, 2007 at 10:26 AM
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WIESBADEN, Germany, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said countries should stop "scaring" Iran and resolve a nuclear dispute through negotiations rather than fear.

Putin spoke Monday from Wiesbaden, Germany, after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkle, Itar-Tass reported.

Putin told reporters he planned to go on to Iran despite reports of an assassination plot against him, Interfax reported.

In a reference to the United States and France, Putin urged countries who oppose Iran's nuclear program to stop threatening Iran and to negotiate a settlement as was done with North Korea, Itar-Tass reported.

Putin said he would discuss such negotiations when he met Monday with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "I hope the results will be encouraging," he said.

Putin's attendance at the summit of Caspian Sea nations Tuesday will mark the first visit by a Russian or Soviet leader to Iran since 1943 when Joseph Stalin met with Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt in Tehran.

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